What’s Next for the NCLEX®?

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What is the Next Generation NCLEX® Project?

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is considering revisions to the focus, item types, and content of the NCLEX-RN® in the years ahead. What to know now:

  • NCSBN has embarked on a multi-year research project to explore new item types with potentially stronger capabilities for accurately evaluating students’ clinical judgment skills before they receive their license to practice.
  • The Next Generation NCLEX will NOT roll out before 2023.
  • All potential new item types are still in the research stage, and still in an ‘optional’ section of the NCLEX for testing.
  • The five new prototyped Next Generation items were built using the Clinical Judgment Model (CJM) that the NCSBN is proposing.
  • Currently, the NCSBN is conducting research to determine if clinical judgment and decision making in nursing practice can be reliably assessed. Their research includes focus group studies, usability studies, cognitive labs studies, and the special research section on the current NCLEX. The items they have prototyped are in an optional special research section of the existing NCLEX-RN for the purpose of collecting functionality data.
  • The NCSBN is still investigating scoring methods, and nothing is finalized. They are considering partial scoring as an option.
  • Regardless of what happens with the CJM, there is a gap in students clinical judgment skills that needs to be addressed in the nursing curriculum. (65% of errors in nursing practice attributed to poor clinical decision making – clinical judgment is important for public safety)
  • A decision to move forward would be followed by an extended period of item development, testing, and refinement before new item types appear on the published NCLEX-RN.
  • The NCLEX-PN® is not currently included in the scope of these changes.

Our NCLEX advisory board members are providing guidance and direction related to our NCLEX products, so they are up to date with the most accurate and reliable content.

NCLEX Advisory Board


How can we help?

Wolters Kluwer is actively auditing NCLEX news to filter misinformation and keep you up to date with official developments from the NCSBN.

  • Our NCLEX advisory board members are actively auditing NCLEX news and providing guidance and direction related to our NCLEX products, so they are up to date with the most accurate and reliable content.
  • Lippincott CoursePoint and Lippincott PassPoint are focused on building students’ clinical judgment and complex thinking through resources that are engaging, designed to enhance learning and retention, and offer flexible modalities to learn.
  • Creating teams of nurse educators and practicing nurses to create case studies with dynamic client charts that unfold over time, from which expert item writers will craft questions in the prototype formats provided by the NCSBN. Strong case studies that cover multiple points in time are the backbone to testing if a student has the critical thinking skills needed, regardless of the exact item types added to the NCLEX.

Information from Experts in the Field

Strategies for Teaching and Assessing Students’ Nursing Clinical Judgment Skills / Diane Billings and Desiree Hensel

November 5, 2018
Presenters: Diane Billings, Diane M. Billings, EdD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus, Indiana University School of Nursing, Indianapolis and Desiree Hensel, BS, MS, PhD, Dean of the School of Nursing, Curry College

In this session the speakers will describe the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Clinical Judgment Model and discuss learning activities targeted at helping students acquire clinical judgment skills.  The concept of retrieval based learning will be described while offering examples of how to use tests and other strategies to assess student’s abilities to make clinical judgments. 

Watch the Recording

Watch as Phil Dickison, Chief Officer, Operations & Examinations, NCSBN, as he provides information about various pieces of the Next Generation NCLEX project.

Watch the Video

NGN Presentation and Talks from the NCSBN

Watch the Videos

Applying Clinical Judgment to NCLEX Item Writing

Watch as Vicki Moran and Leigh Moore lead a webcast that reviews the principles of clinical judgment to item writing principles.

Watch the Webinar